A white nationalist from Fife who idolised right-wing mass killers and hated Muslims has been jailed for a total of seven and a half years for terrorist offences.
Sam Imrie was sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow for what a judge described as the “despicable spreading of hate”.
The 24-year-old from Glenrothes, was arrested after detectives discovered in July 2019 he had posted messages on social media that he was planning to attack Fife Islamic Centre in his home town.
Police went on to discover he had been “glorifying” murderers online, including terrorist Anders Breivik, who slaughtered 77 people in Norway in 2011.
Officers also seized a terrifying arsenal of weapons at his home in Glenrothes consisting of knives, a hammer, nunchucks, an axe and a rifle scope.
Imrie was convicted of two charges of breaching the terrorism act, wilful fire raising, possessing child abuse material and “extreme” pornography and drink-driving following a trial in Edinburgh in October.
‘Remove hatred from your heart’
Sentencing, Lord Mulholland told him: “You posted on a neo-Nazi chatroom your hatred of Muslim, Jews, black people and refugees.
“You revered neo-Nazi and white supremacists.
“You lauded their crimes against innocent people.
“You were spreading hate and encouraging others to take terrorist action that you pretended you had.
“Your conduct was despicable.
“You have no understanding or self-awareness of the hatred that you tried to spread.
“Many Muslims died fighting for the alliance in World War Two for the freedoms that you enjoyed.
“I hope you take advantage of your time in custody to remove the hatred from your heart.”
Imrie showed no emotion as he was led back to the cells, other than to wave to his mother in the public benches.
Horrific online activities
Police Scotland was tipped off by the Metropolitan Police about the disturbing material posted by Imrie on the controversial messaging app Telegram.
Imrie was captured on CCTV at the Islamic Centre in Glenrothes, trying its door.
He posted a video of a fire – purportedly at the centre but actually at an abandoned lodge nearby – and featuring imagery similar to that filmed by his “hero”, far right terrorist Brenton Tarrant, who livestreamed his murder of 51 people in New Zealand in 2019.
On the “FashWave Artists” group on the instant messaging app, he boasted about an upcoming event, believed to be a planned terrorist attack.
Jurors heard he ended up being “ridiculed” by the online audience.
An armed raid on his home in Colliston Avenue, Glenrothes, resulted in a series of horrific discoveries, including the arsenal of weapons and horrific child abuse and mortuary images on his phone.
Detectives also discovered disturbing far right material including the streaming video made by Tarrant.
In his car were a can of petrol and a knife.
Imrie maintained his innocence throughout the trial at Edinburgh High Court.
He claimed he had only been joking about the terror act but confirmed he was a racist who “hated” Muslims.
His mother, Joyce, 50 – who was also arrested in the raid on their home – said her son was a Hitler-infatuated loner who had never had a girlfriend.
He had had few friends and suffered PTSD after a serious assault during his school days.
He said he spent his days drinking and studying far right ideology online.
Jim Keegan QC, defending, said: “He wrote to his mother to apologise for his behaviour.
“He gave evidence during the trial… he accepts his behaviour was inappropriate, stupid, vile.”
Imrie was also put on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.
He was further slapped with a five-year serious crime prevention order designed to tackle and monitor criminals when they are freed.
Following his conviction, Police Scotland ACC Pat Campbell said: “Sam Imrie was a socially-isolated-individual who displayed hateful intentions and the potential consequences of his actions do not bear thinking about.”